The History of The Forge Shopping Centre

Many people will be aware that The Forge Shopping Centre was converted from a working forge and that was how the name evolved. The foundry was owned by WH Butler & Sons and they owned the building from 1923.

However, buildings on this site can be traced back to 1527 when it is believed that it had an ecclesiastical use as the site is situated next to a church. Probably used for gatherings or selling ale to supplement the church’s income.

Details of the history can be found in the foyer at the back of The Forge and it makes an interesting read. The displays are illustrated with pictures and sketches and show details of all the previous uses of the site and census information. Well worth spending a few minutes of your time imagining what life used to be like here.

You can read stories about life and The Forge by clicking the links below.

  • Conversation with Peter Butler
  • The Corner Shop
  • Working in the Corner Shop - Phyllis Nelson
  • Artisans' Dwellings
  • Timber-Framed Building in Church Street
  • Click on thumbnails to view larger images

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